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Executive SummaryYou know you’re swamped trying to keep up with social media. Would it help to know everybody else is?In a first of its kind, a Ragan/NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions survey digs into the social media profession in thecorporate world, nonprofits, and government, unearthing answers to the most pressing questions that perplex the proswho juggle social media. The findings are all in our white paper, “Structuring a Social Media Team.”To map out the landscape of the profession, we surveyed 2,714 respondents online. We asked communicators,marketers, public relations pros and others whether they have someone who focuses exclusively on social media—or ifthey juggle social media on top of their traditional duties.We dug deep on measurement, finding out precisely which tools your colleagues favor, and whether they’re satisfiedwith the data they’re gathering.We were nosy enough to ask about salaries, and if they’re expected to grow in 2013. And—don’t tell the boss—we gotrespondents to spill the beans on whether the CEO supports their effort, shrugs it off, or tweets so wildly, the messagesuffers.Best of all, we invited comments, enriching our results with candid outtakes from the life of a social media professional.Respondents from for-profit corporations made up 58 percent of the total. Nonprofits amounted to 24 percent, while 7percent came from government. (About 11 percent answered “other.”)Organizations of more than 1,000employees constituted 28 percent of the How many people does your organization employ?total; the vast majority were under 1,000,and 23 percent worked for organizationsemploying fewer than 25. Self employed 3% 3% 5%Social media are revolutionizing 4% Less than 25communications. But if your organization 5% 25-50isn’t committing additional resources,don’t feel left out. You’re not alone. 51-99Read on for the results. 13% 23% 100-499 500-1000 1,000-4,999 8% 10% 5,000-9,999 10,000-24,999 18% 8% 25,000-49,999 More than 50,000 2
Major Findings in Do you have a team of people who workFive Key Areas: exclusively on social media?StaffingSixty-five percent of respondents do 5%social media on top of their other 3% Yesduties. For those who do social media No, social media tasks areexclusively, nearly 83 percent work onteams of three or fewer. 27% assigned on top of current job responsibilities.Measurement and monitoring No, we outsource all of our socialSixty-nine percent are dissatisfied media efforts.or only “somewhat satisfied” withhow they measure social media.Only 31 percent are satisfied or 65% Both, we have an internal department and use an outsidevery satisfied. And many say they agency/partnerlack the time to track data or aren’teven sure what to measure.Budgets and salariesOnly 28 percent saw their budgets—excluding salaries and benefits—increase this year, while 69 percent stayedthe same. Prospects were only slightly better for 2013, with 62 percent of budgets remaining static.Salaries for social media manager or director also showed wide variation, with 21 percent earning in the $25,000-$35,000 range, and 22 percent earning from $65,000-$90,000. Five percent earn top salaries, which hoverabove $125,000.Platforms and effortsA lot of people are still figuring out social media. Only 13 percent describe their efforts as advanced. Slightly morethan half agreed with the statement, “We keep our heads above water, but not by much.” Another 23 percent describethemselves as “newbies.”Facebook is by far the most popular platform, with 91 percent of respondents maintaining a page there. Twitterfollows closely, with 88 percent, while 69 percent use LinkedIn.Who owns social media?“Ownership” of social media is murky, and the question may even become passé as numerous departments withinorganizations jump in. Slightly more than 70 percent of respondents say marketing is involved, with 69 percentreporting that public relations played a role. Corporate communications trailed, with 49 percent.Read on to dig deeper. 3
StaffingSize of Staff How many people work exclusively onMost organizations don’t have an employee social media?who focuses exclusively on social media. Sixty-five percent of respondents do social mediaon top of their other duties. For those who dosocial media exclusively, nearly 83 percent work 9%on teams of three or fewer. 9%Some 42 percent say only one person works 1exclusively on social media, while only 9percent report teams of more than six people. 42% 2-3 “I’m a one-woman show, 4-6 so I do everything. But 40% 6+ no one does my social media for me.”Hiring Plans Does your company plan to hire moreThe majority of respondents (68 percent) didn’t people to help with social media next year?expand their social media department in 2012,and 78 percent don’t plan to hire in 2013. “We did not expand the department, but more of 22% Yes our clients wanted to adopt a social media element for our public relations plans.” No 78% 4
The Role of Interns What do interns help your company with?Twenty-five percent of respondents say an internhelps with some aspect of social media, while theremainder agreed with our emphatic “No way!” Facebook 78%The lack of interns didn’t surprise experts weinterviewed. Whether to involve them, says one, Twitter 69%depends on these questions: Is social mediasimply something you do because you must? YouTube 29%Or is it an activity that involves interaction withcustomers and drives business? Blog posts 28% “Yes, our social media strategy Pinterest 22% is handled by interns but, no, our interns are not in LinkedIn 19% constant rotation. Each of our interns is a graduate of the Creating online articles 19% university and committed to alumni advancement.” Google+ 16% Instagram 11%Of those who have interns involved, Facebook isthe most popular place for them to help out, with Flickr 9%78 percent participating. That compares with 69percent for Twitter and 29 percent for YouTube. Other 9%That doesn’t mean organizations allow recentcollege grads to take over their voice. Several Foursquare 5%say intern-created content is reviewed beforebeing published. Tumblr 4%A university-based survey participant says theinterns who run social media are more than justkids who know their way around Instagram andYouTube. The strategy is led by a paid intern ona two-year contract. “We had an intern analyze how competing companies’ use of social media compares to ours.” 5
Hiring and Qualifications When hiring, what do you look forBoth degree and experience weigh heavilyin hiring. Forty-five percent say they rely on a in an applicant?combination of degree and experience. Some25 percent weigh experience above all, and 18percent consider writing skills foremost. Fewer Experience Experiencethan half a percent say they rely on degree alone. 3% 9% Degree Degree“We have a corporate philosophy 25% of hiring great people and 18% Combination of experience Combination and degree and degree 0.4% finding out what they excel at Writing skills before defining their role.” Writing skills 45% Business background Business backgroundAs far as the ideal level of experience, about Other (please specify) Other47 percent sought one to three years. Another44 percent required three to five years. Only 9percent wanted more than that.It appears there is some truth to the impressionthat social media is dominated by newcomers.Education Which degrees are best?In the era of social media, an education incommunications (77 percent) or public relations(76 percent) is most highly valued (respondents Communications 77%were allowed to click multiple answers). Marketingtrailed with 65 percent. Sorry, English majors: Only20 percent felt all those hours you spent poring Public Relations 76%over “Beowulf” made you a better candidate,compared with 42 percent for journalism. Marketing 65% Journalism 42% “[We hire] someone we can trust with the brand and who Advertising 28% understands not just social media but the relationship we have and would like to have with English 20%audiences. Someone we can trust with the passcodes!” Other 9% 6
Measurement and MonitoringSatisfaction Are you satisfied with how yourwith Monitoring company measures social media?The survey revealed that 69 percent aredissatisfied or only “somewhat satisfied” withhow they measure social media. Only 26 percent 5%are satisfied, while 5 percent are very satisfied. “I’m not sure what 27% 26% Very satisfied to measure or how. I know it’s important, but I can’t Satisfied show my boss how many Somewhat satisfied retweets a post received and expect him to care.” 42% Not satisfied at allWhat to Measure? What does your company measure?Nearly 86 percent of respondents said theymeasure interaction and engagement, including Interaction/engagement 86%followers, fans and “likes.” A total of 74 percent (followers, fans, likes, etc.)track Web traffic, while 58 percent measurebrand reputation. Forty percent track new Web traffic 74%leads, and only 31 percent measure sales.Unfortunately, many respondents felt there is Brand reputation 58%no industry-accepted tool to determine thevalue of social media efforts. They have to rely Customer service/satisfaction 41%on impressions and general feedback, they say. New leads 40% “Let me know when you Sales 31% figure out social [return on investment]/metrics.” Other 3% 7
Most Monitor What does your organizationThemselves; Fewer monitor on social media?Track the CompetitionA total of 86 percent of respondents monitor What’s being said about the company. 86%what’s being said about their organization,while 77 percent monitor industry news,trends and events. Fewer—57 percent— Industry news, trends, and events. 77%monitor their competitors.Some organizations only monitor and What our competitors are doing or saying. 57%respond to posts on their pages, rather thanseeking out tweets and other social mediacomments. Several say limited staff time Other 7%prevented this. “We should be monitoring the competition but don’t have the time.”Roadblocks Trip Up What are the roadblocks toMeasurement and Monitoring measuring social media?Many survey participants found roadblocks inmonitoring. Some 65 percent said lack of timewas the reason; 63 percent blamed a lack of Lack of time. 65%staffing. (Another 23 percent said measuring is“too overwhelming.”) Forty-one percent blameda lack of money. Lack of manpower. 63%Confusion about tools also hindered monitoring. Lack of money. 41%Some 39 percent agreed with the statement,“We don’t know which tools to use.” It’s not a priority. 39% “We are fully engaged throughout We don’t know which tools to use. 39% the workweek and will commonly monitor the sites live. While some It’s too overwhelming. 23% folks in our office choose to utilize tools such as TweetDeck and We don’t like the tools available. 13% HootSuite, not all do.” Other 7% 8
Paid Measurement Tools These are the paid tools we currently use:Nearly 59 percent use free tools, while35 percent use both free and paid. Just6 percent rely on paid alone. Other 32%Among paid tools, HootSuite holds a Hootsuite 31%plurality, with 31 percent, followed by Radian6 25%Radian6 (25 percent). Vocus 17%Many individuals did no tracking or CisionPoint 13%couldn’t name their tools. Forty-twoanswered variations of “none,” “don’t Dow Jones’ Factiva 8%know,” or “N/A” when asked what toolsthey use. “I’m not sure [monitoring] is HubSpot 7%actively done,” one answered. Wildfire 7% Sysomos 6% “We’ve yet to find a single tool that can address all of Sprout Social 5% our needs. We use an CoTweet 3% amalgamation of tools and Buddy Media 3% resources to track our social media efforts and success.” NASDAQ Media Intelligence 3% Sprinklr 2% CustomScoop 2% Lithium 2%Free Measurement Tools These are the free tools we use:Google Analytics dominates the free tools,with 78 percent saying they rely on it. GoogleAlerts follows with 67 percent. HootSuite (47percent) and TweetDeck (36 percent) remain Google Analytics 78%popular. Social Mention, Wildfire and Trackur Google Alerts 67%follow far behind. Hootsuite 47%Some of those surveyed mentioned proprietarytools, among them the respondent who uses TweetDeck 36%“some homemade French tools.” Social Mention 13% Other 12% “I believe there is very little data out there that is unbiased Wildfire 5% and transparent in social Trackur 2% media world.” Bottlenose 1% 9
How the Measurement How did you find that service?Service Was FoundAsked how they found their measurement Word of mouth 59%service, the majority—59 percent—saidthrough word of mouth. As in other markets,Google continued to be a powerful means of Other 27%finding a measurement service, with 21 percentsaying they used the search engine. Google search 21% “Our agency found [our Their website/testimonials 16% measurement service] for another client and knew we Online ad 2% were looking. So, they had usinterview them along with some Print ad 0.2%others. We found them to be the most robust and cost-effective.”Budget and SalariesLittle Growth in Sight My 2012 social media budget:Only 28 percent saw their budgets—excludingsalaries and benefits—increase this year, while69 percent stayed the same. Prospects wereonly slightly better next year, with 62 percentof budgets projected to remain static.Only 2 percent will see a decrease in 2013,compared with 3 percent this year. 28% Increased Decreased “Few understand the value of SM presence. And fewer 69% 3% Stayed the same understand the way SM can function as a tool for us.” 10
Most Budgets What is your social media budgetAre Small (excluding salaries and benefits)?Twenty-three percent listed budgets(excluding salaries and benefits) of lessthan $1,000. About 27 percent hadbudgets exceeding $50,000, with just14 percent exceeding $100,000. “We have a $0 budget; social media is an afterthought. We are successful at it because of the passion of the people involved.”A Snapshot of Salaries What is the salary range of your socialWhat does—or should—a social mediamanager earn? The numbers that emerged media manager/director?represent a wide range of compensation.Salaries clustered $25,000 to $35,000 (21percent), largely among small organizations,and around $65,000 to $90,000 (22 percent). 5% 9% $25,000-$35,000The survey offers only a snapshot, since itdidn’t break down answers geographically. 21% $35,000-$45,000Respondents worked for corporations, $45,000-$55,000nonprofits and government. And organizationsdefine the role in different ways. But survey 22% 16% $55,000-$65,000results fall within ranges of observations by $65,000-$90,000several other sources. $90,000-$125,000Of those in the lowest salary range in our 12% 15% $125,000+survey, 43 percent worked for organizationswith revenues of under $1 million. Another 19percent earned annual revenues ranging from$1 million to $5 million. One participant, commenting about lack of money as a roadblock, added, “‘Lack of money’ refers to salaries for the job being low.” 11
Breaking Down Company revenue of those makingthe Salaries $45,000-$55,000At the top end, 55 percent of those reportingsalaries more than $125,000 worked for companieswith yearly revenue of more than $1 billion. Another 20-50 million 19%35 percent reported revenue of more than $100 5-20 million 19%million, up to $1 billion. 1-5 million 17%At this level of compensation, however, the samplewas small, with only 20 respondents saying their 100-500 million 12%organization’s manager or director is banking the bigbucks. Two worked at organizations with revenue in Less than 1 million 12%the $5 million to $20 million range, while 11 worked More than 1 billion 10%at organizations where revenue tops $1 billion. 50-100 million 7%The salary figures were most evenly distributedamong all organizations, regardless of size, at 500 million-1 billion 5%$45,000 to $55,000. Twelve percent of those inthat range work for organizations with revenue ofless than $1 million, while 10 percent clock in atcorporations with revenue topping $1 billion.Platforms and EffortsMost in the Field Are Which of the following best describesStill Figuring It Out your organization’s social media efforts?Just 13 percent of communicators said theirorganization was “an advanced, well-runmachine.” A total of 65 percent said they usesocial media regularly but have more to learn 13%and accomplish. Another 23 percent rated Advanced. We’re a well-runthemselves “newbies.” 23% machine. Intermediate. We use social “Unless you’re at a media regularly, but have top-five consumer brand more to learn and accomplish. or agency, I don’t see how anyone can consider 64% Beginner. We’re newbies! themselves advanced. It’s just growing too fast.” 12
How Well Do You How well does your organization find theKeep Up? time to keep up with new social mediaThe survey offers a bit of encouragement for tools and platforms?those who feel they’re struggling to catchup. Though most don’t consider themselvesadvanced, nearly a third of respondents—30percent—agree that they “easily adapt to newtools and platforms.”Others found the task harder, as new platforms 18% We easily adapt to neware launched seemingly every week. Some 52 30% tools and platforms.percent agreed that they “keep our heads above We keep our heads abovewater, but not by much.” Another 18 percent water, but not by much.confessed to being “overwhelmed.” “We are the classic case of the 52% Poorly, it’s overwhelming. cobbler’s children having no shoes. Despite being a full service communications firm, we are so busy, focused on our clients’ campaigns, we are still trying to create sustained momentum in our own social media space.”Top Goal: Increase What are your organization’sBrand Awareness social media goals?So what’s it all about? What’s the purpose ofthis frenzied tweeting and posting that has youhunched over your iPhone, warding off trolls Increase brand awareness 87%and Facebook spammers during youranniversary dinner? Increase Web traffic 62%Asked about their social media goals, 87 Improve our reputation 61%percent said to increase brand awareness.Sixty-two percent sought to boost Web traffic.Some 61 percent were out to improve the Generate leads 45%organization’s reputation. Increase sales 40%Many respondents say they use social mediato promote thought leadership. Some say their Improve customer service 38%goals are to listen and learn, and a teachinghospital uses the new digital platforms torecruit faculty, staff and medical residents. Other 10%Improving search engine optimization, engaging Not sure 5%current customers, expanding a donor base, andbuilding a community of donors all were goalsthat respondents mentioned.“We really look at social media as a way to show the personality of our firm. We also look at it as a way to share our expertise and thought leadership in the industry, which in turn, we hope, will increase leads and potentially sales.” 13
Choose Your Weapon Which social media platforms doesFacebook is by far the most popular platform, with91 percent of respondents maintaining a page there. your organization use?Twitter follows closely, with 88 percent, while 69percent use LinkedIn. At the bottom of the list are Facebook 91%Instagram (17 percent) and Tumblr (9 percent).Many commenters mentioned other social media Twitter 88%beyond our multiple choices. Foremost among thesewere Vimeo and WordPress blogs. Others swore by YouTube 73%reddit, Storify, StumbleUpon, Digg and Picasa. LinkedIn 69%International social media earned mentions.One respondent touted the Russian websites Google+ 33%Odnoklassniki, Mail.ru and VKontakte. And let usnot forget China: Sina Weibo, Renren, and Youkuwon endorsements. Pinterest 32%But some are crying, “Enough!” saying there are Flickr 21%too many platforms and too little time. Instagram 17% “We stick to FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Given the nearly Foursquare 15% endless possibilities contrasted against finite resources, you have Other 10% to make choices.” Tumblr 9%Frequency of Posts How often does your organizationA majority (58 percent) post at least daily,although half of those don’t post on weekends. post on social media?About 22 percent post two or three times aweek, with the remainder posting less frequently.Several commenters also referred to times of 5% 7% At least once a day,year when many comments go up, such as during including weekendsthe academic year or legislative sessions. One 8%agency respondent wrote, “For clients, daily;for ourselves, once a week.” 29% At least once a day, Monday-Friday 2-3 times a week “Twitter is daily, including weekends. Facebook is less 22% Once a week frequent, mostly focusing on events and undergraduate 29% Once a month events. YouTube depends Other entirely on whether we have time and hands to do video.” 14
Types of Content Which types of online content doesSocial media is well and good, but what are your organization create?you posting, and what are you linking to?Facebook posts lead, with 86 percent of Facebook posts 86%respondents using the medium. Tweets lag byonly a single percentage point. Some 64 percent Tweets 85%create videos, and one honest survey participantfessed up to producing “really bad videos.” Images 65%Sixty-one percent write blogs, and another 51 Videos 64%percent draft online articles. Only a sliver—3percent—don’t create any content at all. Blogs 61% “We maintain a historical Online articles 51% timeline with photos on Facebook, post videos, and Podcasts 13% ensure that our customers and Other 5% employees can connect with us through social media.” We don’t create content. 3% 15
Who Owns Social Media?Who’s Involved?Who gets to participate in firing off those tweets or uploading photos onto Pinterest? The Ragan/NASDAQ OMXCorporate Solutions survey reveals a multidepartmental approach to social media within most corporations, nonprofitsand government agencies.Slightly more than 70 percent of respondents saymarketing is involved, with 69 percent reportingthat public relations plays a role. Corporate Which departments are involved in yourcommunications trailed, with 49 percent. Twenty- company’s social media efforts?six percent of respondents said the advertisingdepartment plays a role, and 14 percent makeroom at the table for the lawyers. Marketing 70%More than a quarter—26 percent—oforganizations involve advertising. IT owns a piece Public relations 69%of social media at 17 percent of organizations,while customer service is involved in 19 percentof the cases. Corporate communications 49%Some experts say social media will keep Advertising 26%spreading across departments, to the pointthat asking who owns it will be like asking,“Who owns the telephone?” Customer service 19% “There must be collaboration. IT 17% Whereas marketing only wants to sell product, Other 15% corporate communications— my department—must be Legal 14% aware of the impact of all social efforts on Wall Street, shareholders and regulators.” 16
So Who’s in Charge? Who do the people involved with yourWith so many departments involved, which one social media efforts report to?is the boss of all bosses?Marketing leads among those to whom socialmedia reports, with 29 percent. The CEOranks next, with 20 percent of respondentssaying they report to that position. Corporate 13% Marketingcommunications (nearly 18 percent) and publicrelations (17 percent) follow close behind. 29% Corporate communicationsOne respondent stated: “The social media 20% Public relationsmanager is the organizations communications Social mediacoordinator. The communications coordinator Advertisingmakes up the entire PR and marketing 17% The CEOdepartment excluding interns.” 1% 17% OtherMany respondents named specific individuals, 3%such as the vice president of development andexternal affairs, newsroom editors, and even“each other—it’s a shared job.”Plays Well With Others? How well do those departmentsDespite the potential for competition, the “many work together?cooks” model seems to work fine. Almost 74percent say the departments work togetherwell or very well, with only 26 percent less thansatisfied with the way things are going. 5%Some participants reported ups and downs ininterdepartmental relations. “Variable,” one 21% Very wellwrote. “Some departments work together verywell, others not so well.” 37% Well Somewhat well “Our biggest challenge is getting the different Not at all units to collaborate. Some 37% teams have an ‘ownership’ which they are reluctant to let go of.” 17
Are the Bigwigs Does your C-suite support social media?on Board?The survey offers some cheer from mostorganizations: Large or small, most say theirleaders understand social media. More than81 percent say their executives are “very” or 16% They’re very supportive.“somewhat” supportive, with only 19 percent 3% They’re somewhatsaying they are unsupportive or indifferent. 38% supportive.But there is frustration when top leaders don’t They’re not supportivesee the return on building engagement with at all.customers or tracking those 140-characterreputation bombs. 43% They’re indifferent. “Our social media team is thinking on the cutting edge, but our executives and PR team have chosen not to take social media seriously.” 18
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